We are completely devastated by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Senior Executive Editor Rick Wolff, who lost a sudden battle with brain cancer. Words cannot express our sadness and heartbreak, and our deepest condolences go to his family.
Rick was a wonderful person, teammate, father, and friend, and I am so proud to have worked with him the last few years of his legendary 40+ year career in publishing. It was a dream come true to have him join our firm and he was a huge presence here at KAA as an editor, as well as a trusted mentor to many of our staff–some of whom he’d mentored for many years even before joining our firm. I am forever grateful to have had the incredible good fortune to know him, and work together, to dissect book proposals with him, to debate sports and share parenting stories over a drink…to be his friend and colleague.
Rick was a gentle giant—he worked with some of the bestselling books of the last half century, and yet he always met every author where they were at. He always treated his authors and teammates with dignity and respect, but also never shied away from an honest critique.
He loved life, and being a dad and “Pops” to his grandchildren, and a coach and mentor; he was a brilliant editor and everything you’d want in a teammate and an exemplary employee who treated every project with the utmost professionalism and pride.
Book editors aren’t just identified by their books. They are their books. So here are a few we’ll remember him by: Jack: Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch, Leading with the Heart by Coach Mike Krzyzewski, How I Built This by Guy Raz, Rather Outspoken by Dan Rather, It’s Your Ship by Capt. Mike Brahashoff, How I Play Golf by Tiger Woods, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by Finn Gardner, The No Asshole Rule by Dr. Robert Sutton, and, of course, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Any number of these titles would have made an editor’s career, and Rick had dozens more to his credit. Sixty-plus bestsellers in all. What a legacy. We would sometimes refer to him as “the legend,” which always made him chuckle with part eye roll, part appreciation and acceptance.
Rick, it was an honor working with you and our lives are better having known you.
Thanks for everything, Coach.
Kevin Anderson and the KAA Team
For more information, please refer to his family’s statement here.